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Patch For The Witcher 2 Removes DRM Shortly After Release

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the minimizing-inconvenience dept.

DRM 166

cozzbp writes with this excerpt from Ars Technica: "A little over a week after its release, The Witcher 2 is getting its first patch, and with it all versions of the game will now be DRM free. 'Our approach to countering piracy is to incorporate superior value in the legal version,' explained development director Adam Badowski. 'This means it has to be superior in every respect: less troublesome to use and install, with full support, and with access to additional content and services. So, we felt keeping the DRM would mainly hurt our legitimate users. This is completely in line with what we said before the release of The Witcher 2. We felt DRM was necessary to prevent the game being pirated and leaked before release.'"

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No DRM for me anyway (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36294146)

I bought it from gog so there wasn't any DRM in the first place for me. Still, great attitude for them to take. Hope more companies follow suit.

Re:No DRM for me anyway (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36294404)

Interestingly, the company that produces Witcher 2, also owns GOG.

Re:No DRM for me anyway (1)

mcvos (645701) | more than 3 years ago | (#36294536)

They mentioned that as the reason why only GOG would sell DRMless: they trusted them not to leak the code before release. Whether that's a credible reason, I have no idea.

I also get the impression there were some problems with the DRM causing people to be unable to play properly (aren't there always?), so maybe they just removed it to get rid of those problems quickly.

In any case, I'm glad they make a big point of removing DRM. I hope The Witcher 2 sells well, and other publishers will take that as a sign that DRM hurts sales.

Re:No DRM for me anyway (1)

Tridus (79566) | more than 3 years ago | (#36294626)

They don't mention that when the game first went on sale, the main selling point for the GOG version was that it "was the exclusive DRM-free version!"

This excuse is bullshit. It was marketing. They wanted more sales on the service they own, so they stuck everybody else with an inferior version and finally had to back down when it turned out to be breaking the game for too many customers.

Re:No DRM for me anyway (2)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 3 years ago | (#36294828)

Why is this "bullshit"? Did anyone stick a gun to your head and make you buy it off of Steam? You had the choice of the (IMHO superior) GOG version, with no need for crap running in the background (like Steam), incredibly easy to backup, and all around hassle free version, or you could buy the DRM version from Steam and D2D.

It was completely up to you which version you bought so don't bitch that 'Wahhh I had to make a choice, wahh!" especially when Steam has been allowing third parties like Ubisoft to add more DRM on top of Steam killing the whole damned point for using Steam in the first place.

I just hope you were smart and bought the GOG version, I myself just bought the first one and will be getting the second as soon as I'm done with the first. I believe in putting my money where my mouth is and have been buying from GOG almost from the day it opened. If more would support DRM free then hopefully we will one day see DRM games go the way of DRM music. In both cases it only hurts the buyer while the pirate enjoys their stuff DRM free.

So instead of whining about D2D and Steam having DRM (shock! Surprise!) why not simply always buy from GOG where possible? not to mention as owner GOG gives them 100% of the proceeds from the game VS a percentage with the others, so why the hell shouldn't they support GOG? It would be kinda stupid to give the ones that only give you a cut the same as your own site.

Re:No DRM for me anyway (1)

makomk (752139) | more than 3 years ago | (#36295008)

Did anyone stick a gun to your head and make you buy it off of Steam? You had the choice of the (IMHO superior) GOG version, with no need for crap running in the background (like Steam), incredibly easy to backup, and all around hassle free version, or you could buy the DRM version from Steam and D2D.

You're forgetting that some users don't have good enough internet connections to download large games or just want the physical bits that come with the boxed edition. (The boxed version had DRM too by the way.)

Re:No DRM for me anyway (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36295238)

OH! How terrible.

Re:No DRM for me anyway (1)

Luckyo (1726890) | more than 3 years ago | (#36295610)

Considering that their initial statement was "no DRM whatsoever", yes, it's terrible. I was very surprised to find DRM on my DVD version.

Re:No DRM for me anyway (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36294958)

I bought it from gog so there wasn't any DRM in the first place for me. Still, great attitude for them to take. Hope more companies follow suit.

Are you listening, Gearbox?

Someone gets it (1)

Fjandr (66656) | more than 3 years ago | (#36294152)

Finally, a company that understands the DRM is irrelevant past the release date.

Re:Someone gets it (4, Informative)

Svippy (876087) | more than 3 years ago | (#36294252)

*cough* paradoxplaza.com/thewesterfront/2010/9/the-drm-dilemma [paradoxplaza.com] *cough*

What the summary fails to mention is that the company still will actively be looking for pirates on torrent sites. Paradox Interactive's approach is not to bother at all, but rather provide those with unique CD-keys additional benefits.

Re:Someone gets it (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36294300)

What the summary fails to mention is that the company still will actively be looking for pirates on torrent sites.

Which is completely fine by me. If you want to have something someone else did work for and decided to sell, then there are two options IMHO:

1.) I'm fine with the package they offer and the price they demand for it. Then I go and buy it.
2.) I don't think the package is worth the money. Well, then I don't buy it.

Everything else is just not fair.

Re:Someone gets it (1)

MadJo (674225) | more than 3 years ago | (#36294474)

How about option 3?

3.) I think the package they offer is nice, but I'm not sure if it's worth the price?

Re:Someone gets it (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36294504)

...That's option 2...

Re:Someone gets it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36294530)

Its called waiting, you see most games become cheaper eventually. I dont buy anything over 20 euro's. Which is the upper upper limit for me. I can still play a lot of good games, am not tied to the latest release cycle, and the coop games I play with friends are usually a couple of years old anyway.

Re:Someone gets it (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 3 years ago | (#36294998)

That's not a third option. Either you agree that it's worth the price, or you don't. That's the entire basis of trade, and has been for thousands of years. They have something you want (a game), and you have something that they want (money). Either you agree on an exchange rate (number of currency units per game), in which case you can make a trade, or you don't agree and you can't. The entitlement mentality, that if you disagree with the terms of the trade that you should be able to take what they are offering without giving anything in return, is sickening. If you believe that copyright is wrong, then donate to projects that are released under a permissive license.

Re:Someone gets it (1)

malkavian (9512) | more than 3 years ago | (#36295220)

Actually, the option 3 is the "sampler". In games, this would be the Demo.
If you're not sure about the trade (is the quality sufficient, etc), then a small, limited quantity is supplied by the vendor to show the quality that you'll be paying for, and entice those who are reticent about the trade.
But once you have the 'sampler', then yes, you're back at options 1 or 2. You shouldn't expect the whole cargo for free.
For some reason though, some game companies seem to insist on placing DRM on the demo, which really breaches the whole concept and makes it almost worthless for many (is this game worth putting up with onerous restrictions? Oh, to see if it is, I have to accept the onerous restrictions first!).

Re:Someone gets it (2)

laughingcoyote (762272) | more than 3 years ago | (#36295740)

No it's not.

There used to be a pretty decent trade in going up the side of a mountain, bringing down a block of ice, and selling chunks out of it. Then along came freezers, and everyone could make a "copy" of that ice chunk right in their own home. Now ice hauling is no longer a viable business model. Times change, technology disrupts, and sometimes something that was once lucrative becomes superfluous or worthless.

The selling copies model is dead, and it's only thrashing at all through enforced monopoly (an enforced monopoly over thoughts and numbers, no less). That's not going to work, with a machine designed to make copies in every living room. You are correct that asking nicely for a donation often does, and I often give one. But it's tough to demand money for something people can easily do themselves. If a chef develops a delicious recipe, but it's relatively easy to cook, a lot of people will cook it rather than going to the restaurant. Those who do go to the restaurant will see some benefit in paying that premium (added convenience, the atmosphere, what have you). And no, it makes no difference that in this case the cooking only takes a button press-if anything, that means less reason to go to the restaurant.

When you develop something that's not actually scarce, don't be surprised if you don't make a ton of money from it. Ideas spread easily, especially now that we've got a global network designed to do exactly that. We're well into a new paradigm here, and if the lumbering old giants want to ignore that-well, we all know what happens when you fail to adapt.

Re:Someone gets it (1)

Goaway (82658) | more than 3 years ago | (#36295798)

So when those dinosaurs who make games and expect people to actually pay money for them finally do go out of business, then... What exactly are you going to be copying?

Re:Someone gets it (4, Insightful)

MareLooke (1003332) | more than 3 years ago | (#36294336)

Which is just another form of DRM and it makes the resell value of your game basically zero (which of course is the entire idea). 0-Day DLCs and forced online activation (so you get access to all the content you already paid for) are even worse than the other crap as they require you to give up personal info (to be able to sign up) to companies that have your privacy as a very high priority (hello Sony)

Re:Someone gets it (1)

MemoryDragon (544441) | more than 3 years ago | (#36294434)

Heck the only personal info you give away is a custom login and a CD Key and an email address. You still can play the game without registration, you still can get the patches without registration, and given CDPs history you probably will get the additional content without registration in the long run as patch. (They did the same for the enhanced edition)
All there is is that you get the DLC (which is free) early if you register.

Re:Someone gets it (1)

MareLooke (1003332) | more than 3 years ago | (#36295092)

This might be true in CDPR's case but they aren't exactly the norm when it comes to these kinds of things (they've proven to be nice guys that are passionate about their games, let's hope some big publisher doesn't come along and fuck them up *cough* EA *cough*), loads of games require registration and validation to get access to release day "DLCs" (EA/Bioware is starting to get on my nerves with this, for example) requiring varying amounts of personal information on signup and resulting in varying amounts of trouble with the entire kaboodle (as in: bugs, servers not being available, no access to the content in offline mode or there just not being an offline mode at all (because nobody plays from hotel rooms or during a network outage or whatever)).

Re:Someone gets it (5, Insightful)

evilbessie (873633) | more than 3 years ago | (#36294742)

When I buy a used car I don't get the original owners warranty or any free stuff which may have come with the original purchase, free services, road tax, insurance offers etc. Not entirely sure why you think a secondhand purchase should be the same as buying new. Being as this is a relatively effective and less intrusive way of reducing piracy it's better this direction than others have taken.

If you can come up with a good solution to reducing piracy and rewarding genuine purchasers of software then you could make a lot of money.

Also when I buy a car I am generally required to give lots of personal information, are you suggesting that you should be able to just have software like a book. Well it comes with some services (online content, updates, support) and it is reasonable to request registration for such services.

You however seem to want the moon on a stick, which I am unable to assist you with.

Re:Someone gets it (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36294858)

When I buy a used car I don't get the original owners warranty or any free stuff which may have come with the original purchase, free services, road tax, insurance offers etc.

Perhaps it is different in the US, but in the UK you can transfer benefits like free services when you sell your car. Obviously they don't recreate the exact same sales package as they do for new games.

Pretending that this is the same as 0-day / new only offers in games is naive or misleading. I doubt many players have any issue at all with the odd novelty addition for new games, however games have moved well beyond that now. People who buy second hand, get the game with significant content or entire areas of functionality removed. Game devs are no longer even pretending to add extra for people who buy new, they are openly nerfing games for people who buy second hand (removing aspects like multiplayer, or campaign segments).

Given how much they some companies hate the second hand games market, I don't understand why companies like EA don't simply make their games so they don't work at all if not bought new, or require a ~£5 payment to activate a 2nd hand copy. At least that would be clear, easy to understand and honest (even if I don't like it).

Re:Someone gets it (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 3 years ago | (#36294890)

When the online content exist only to reduce a sale into a non-transferable personal license, don't expect consumers to be happy about it. Software licenses for single player games have all the essential characteristics of a sale - a one-time payment for a one-time delivery, except you don't get any of the rights and benefits of a sale.

Re:Someone gets it (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#36295026)

Software licenses for single player games have all the essential characteristics of a sale

Then the studios' solution is to end development of single-player games.

Re:Someone gets it (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36295038)

When I buy a used car I don't get the original owners warranty or any free stuff which may have come with the original purchase, free services, road tax, insurance offers etc.

The original owner is able to sell any such stuff on to you, or should be.

Not entirely sure why you think a secondhand purchase should be the same as buying new.

A little thing called the doctrine of first sale [wikipedia.org] .

Re:Someone gets it (1)

TFAFalcon (1839122) | more than 3 years ago | (#36295300)

When I buy a book it only rarely comes with half the pages stuck together, missing chapters or set to self destruct when you reach page x.
It's also rare to have the book tell you : 'If you want to know what happened in chapters 3, 5 and 9, please send 10$ to the author now'.
And buying a used car doesn't allow the manufacturer to prevent you from getting it registered.

Re:Someone gets it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36295526)

No medals for registering online = book with missing chapters? What have you been smoking?

Re:Someone gets it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36295308)

>When I buy a used car I don't get the original owners warranty
My used car had 36,000 miles on it. The dealer's warranty carried over. So I'm calling bullshit on your post.
It was a Ford, BTW.

Re:Someone gets it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36295356)

"When I buy a used car I don't get the original owners warranty or any free stuff which may have come with the original purchase, free services, road tax, insurance offers etc. Not entirely sure why you think a secondhand purchase should be the same as buying new. "

You certainly DO get the warranty when you purchase a used car in Britain. If the car had 1.5 years left on its warranty before you purchased it, it has 1.5 years left on its warranty AFTER you have purchased it. But I don't think the examples you use with your analogy is very good. Yes, there may be stuff that only comes with a new car (i.e. free car washes when you purchase a new car from us), but the important things always come as part of the sale.

In contrast, downloadable content is now being used to "fill in" features that really should be part of the game in the first place. It is thus more like a car coming with air conditioning or a radio that will disable themselves for second hand buyers.

Re:Someone gets it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36295528)

When I buy a used car I don't get the original owners warranty

Um, you do if the vehicle is still under the warranty term's mileage. Also, not having a warranty on a vehicle doesn't completely disable the functionality of said vehicle.

Re:Someone gets it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36294484)

This sounds like a system that could work very well.

Use a uniquely generated key system with two levels:

- level 1: trial keys, demo keys and comprimised level 2 keys

- level 2: purchased keys (matched with publishers's datbase), and perhaps even 'rewarded' keys

Once a level 2 key becomes comprimsed (it is used by more than 1 player) it will fall back to level 1 (reduced playability, perhaps -50% weakness or something, anything that makes the game less enjoyable or more difficult, but still playable). If falsely accused (keygen generates a key for an unsold game and someone uses it before the legit copy is sold) then there should be a system (upload a scan of the receipt, or original packaging) to overrule the system, which downgrades the level 2 key to level 1 and awards the legit gamer another level 2 key.

This could even work for a game like World of Warcraft (level 2 would be stuck at lvl 60 or so).

I guess the most difficult part here is having two levels of game contents in your game.

Re:Someone gets it (1)

mcvos (645701) | more than 3 years ago | (#36294580)

I guess the most difficult part here is having two levels of game contents in your game.

That's not hard. Games that are a playable demo without a key and turn into the full game when you purchase a key, are well-established technology. The real problem with your idea is downgrading existing keys for single-player desktop games.

Re:Someone gets it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36295688)

The main problem with the scheme is pirate/hacker decrypts your executable and then removes the key check. Your unlockable demo is now a full copy of the game and you are paying for the bandwidth to give it to them.

Re:Someone gets it (1)

mcvos (645701) | more than 3 years ago | (#36294560)

What the summary fails to mention is that the company still will actively be looking for pirates on torrent sites.

I don't care. Since my version is DRM-free, I don't need a torrent.

Of course there's also try-before-you-buy. I don't think there's a demo for The Witcher 2, which is unfortunate, because that would have killed that reason to torrent.

Re:Someone gets it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36294814)

There was a high profile demo released, what's more it was actually representative of the game.

Re:Someone gets it (1)

mcvos (645701) | more than 3 years ago | (#36294962)

There was? How did I manage to miss that so completely?

Doesn't matter, though. I was already sold.

Re:Someone gets it (2)

toxickitty (1758282) | more than 3 years ago | (#36295594)

Which part of the article you linked to said "Weill actively be looking for pirates on torrent sites"? All I see relating to the web in the article you linked to is this: "This does not mean, however, that we support piracy or think it is ok to share our games freely over the web. We still believe people should pay for the games they play. After all, this is what keeps this industry running." There's nothing I can find about pursuing pirates online, unless I am missing something? After reading the article I feel like buying the game, is it good? Going to watch some trailers in a bit.

Discipline? (1)

wandernauta (2041244) | more than 3 years ago | (#36294162)

I always thought games being leaked and pirated before release was about rogue developers, sharing raw builds with shady pirate folk for kicks. How would DRM help there? Does this mean Badowski tried to substitute some good old team discipline for technical measures?

Re:Discipline? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36294182)

Most pre-release games come from people working at factory level. People that can swipe a freshly pressed disc. Alphas and Betas are the ones that are either leaked internally, or hacked (like we saw with Half-Life 2).

Re:Discipline? (1)

beowulfcluster (603942) | more than 3 years ago | (#36294258)

Games are sent out through the manufacturing+distribution chain before they are released. Most prereleases come from there.

Re:Discipline? (1)

petermgreen (876956) | more than 3 years ago | (#36294276)

This clearly wouldn't help against a rogue dev.

What online activation could help with is reducing the risk of usable copies being leaked in the time between "going gold" and release. For example if the online activation scheme involved encrypting the copy on the disc with the decryption key released through the activation servers and the activation servers were configured only to accept special test keys before release then the set of people who could leak the game code/data before release could be limited to a far smaller set.

Thank you (1)

Skylinux (942824) | more than 3 years ago | (#36294164)

I bought the game from GoG because they offered a DRM free download. I would not have purchased the DVD edition.

We see a lot of ATARI victims on the GoG forums crying about their games running slower then ours. The DVD version comes with built in DRM so customers can finally see the difference.

DRM sucks!

Re:Thank you (1)

MareLooke (1003332) | more than 3 years ago | (#36294318)

We already knew that from the previous Witcher, which was notorious for the insane loading times (up to 5minutes in some cases!) and crashes caused by the DRM. Good thing they removed it eventually (and fixed a bunch of other issues with the game). Shame they didn't just release the second installment entirely DRM free through all channels to start with though, guess the publishers still had to have their way.

Re:Thank you (2)

MemoryDragon (544441) | more than 3 years ago | (#36294428)

It was mainly the publisher, the CDProject guys never were happy about the DRM to begin with. Btw. the same goes for the price fixing on the publishers side. They wanted the same price for Europe and the USA, the publisher wanted to charge more in Europe and hence GOG (which is owned by the same company as CDProject) simply gave refunds for various other games in their catalogue to make up for the price difference.
CDProject are really nice guys and I hope they sell a load of games everyone who pirates this game really is a criminal they went great lengths to be customer friendly.

Re:Thank you (1)

Luckyo (1726890) | more than 3 years ago | (#36295640)

Not sure how "charge more" part came to life, other then the fact that we pretty much always pay more for games here in Europe in general.

That said, GoG was about 30% more expensive then play.com when it came to buying w2.

Re:Thank you (2)

Spikeles (972972) | more than 3 years ago | (#36294438)

I bought the game on GoG($45 USD) because it was $30 cheaper than the Steam version($75 USD) on the Aussie store. [steamprices.com] DRM free was just the icing on the cake.

Re:Thank you (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 3 years ago | (#36294586)

Personally I love ordering from amazon.co.uk to Norway. Since it's just below the 200 NOK import duty limit and amazon gives me free shipping, I got the DVD version for about 22.86 euro, or less than half than on Steam's 49.99 euro. Steam is silly expensive, they just got people hooked.

Interesting Strategy (4, Insightful)

Brianech (791070) | more than 3 years ago | (#36294168)

This is a new take on DRM and piracy. On the plus its temporary, BUT if it fails to prevent being cracked before the release it could just annoy legit buyers for a week. I for one think its an interesting and positive strategy. They could gain with day 1 sales, and legit buyers get a DRM free product in 1 week. Personally I would put up with it, some may disagree. If you are super anti-drm simply wait 1 week before playing. Seems like a new, positive step in the right direction, and I'm at least happy to see a company try something new.

Re:Interesting Strategy (2)

quadrox (1174915) | more than 3 years ago | (#36294244)

I think I am one of those super anti-drm people - but I agree with you. I just wouldn't buy the game until the DRM has been removed. When the DRM has been removed, my concerns are gone and I'll be happy to pay money for it. Ok, I'll have to wait one more week, but I can deal with that.

Re:Interesting Strategy (1)

mcvos (645701) | more than 3 years ago | (#36294596)

Or in this case you could buy the game from gog.com, where it was DRM-free from the start.

Re:Interesting Strategy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36295530)

Personally, I'm still reluctant to buy the game since there's still DRM on the disc. Even though it will get patched out the first time the game gets patched, I'd rather not stick any DRM software on my PC in the first place (with the exception of Steam). There have been too many horror stories about DRM that affects the PC even when the game isn't running.

Re:Interesting Strategy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36294600)

I'd love that. I usually wait several months before I buy games anyway (they're simply too bugged at release, plus prices go down). That'd convince me to buy games which I still wouldn't buy for 1$ due to certain DRM systems.

Re:Interesting Strategy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36294632)

Meh, forgot to add:
Realistically, I'm not expecting this though. It's a freak occurrence. Publishers have too much of a hard-on for DRM. Aside from the Witcher 2, the only instances where I saw DRM being removed in a patch was due to the massive technical problems it caused; certainly not because it would be a feature for customers.

So I stick to my usual procedure:
If DRM and no crack for latest patch, then no buy.

Re:Interesting Strategy (1)

hedleyroos (817147) | more than 3 years ago | (#36294802)

I made a similar suggestion on an old Ubisoft story as to how to counter piracy. At that stage I thought 3 months would be a good period. A week sounds a bit short, but let's wait and see.

Re:Interesting Strategy (1)

Luckyo (1726890) | more than 3 years ago | (#36295656)

The thing is, they saved money with this move. Vast majority of issues with the game that strained their tech support was DRM problems. They either had to massively up the tech support costs or drop DRM.

And with the fact that cracked game ran much better because it stripped DRM, they were left with very little realistic choices.

Re:Interesting Strategy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36295136)

It looks a lot like a new implementation of copyright - for sale for a while, and freely available thereafter - but starting over again with a reasonable term.

Re:Interesting Strategy (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 3 years ago | (#36295638)

Who buys games on release day anyway? Not only is there DRM to deal with, but prices are highest then too. It's not like you miss anything by waiting 6 months for the price to drop. There are plenty of other games to keep you occupied until then.

days later.. (1)

crossmr (957846) | more than 3 years ago | (#36294192)

slashdot gets to the story..

Re:days later.. (2)

Lokitoth (1069508) | more than 3 years ago | (#36294364)

The story was DRMed until now.

Waste of your potential profits (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36294210)

So they spend a tonne of time and cash trying to get DRM to work with their game, it doesn't stop it getting pirated before/at release anyway, then they remove it.
Seems like a total waste of resources to me *rolls eyes*

Or maybe, they just couldnt get the game to run properly with the DRM they never intended to remove (because well DRM sucks and has a habit of wrecking things), and they thought they could create some positive spin by removing it to fix a broken game.... who knows *shrug*

Re:Waste of your potential profits (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36294302)

Majority of sales are made in the first week.

Re:Waste of your potential profits (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36294602)

So are a majority of cracks. Also, even if that wasn't true, a determined pirate (read: someone who wants to get something for free) would just wait a little while until a crack comes out or the DRM was removed.

Re:Waste of your potential profits (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36294310)

Or maybe, they just couldnt get the game to run properly with the DRM they never intended to remove (because well DRM sucks and has a habit of wrecking things), and they thought they could create some positive spin by removing it to fix a broken game.... who knows *shrug*

You do know that Witcher 2 was available for pre-order DRM-free from GOG? This is CDProjekt, the usual paranoia is unnecessary.

Re:Waste of your potential profits (1)

MemoryDragon (544441) | more than 3 years ago | (#36294396)

The GOG version never had DRM, one of the reasons why I bought it instantly, I normally wait til a game hits the bargain bins.

Re:Waste of your potential profits (1)

mcvos (645701) | more than 3 years ago | (#36294612)

Or maybe, they just couldnt get the game to run properly with the DRM they never intended to remove (because well DRM sucks and has a habit of wrecking things), and they thought they could create some positive spin by removing it to fix a broken game.... who knows *shrug*

That could be it. Mind you, the game was available without DRM right from the start, and widely publicized as such, so I think the complete story is that retail publishers demanded that they include DRM, they didn't get it working properly, and after release they dropped it as soon as they could.

That's great and all.... (1)

rebelwarlock (1319465) | more than 3 years ago | (#36294236)

...except that DRM leaves crap on your hard drive even after its removal. You have systems like StarForce that leave hidden drivers, registry keys, and even data written to normally user-inaccessible parts of your hard drive. I almost bought this game based on what they had said about no DRM to encourage this behavior. Good thing I didn't rush out and buy it on release day.

Very nice. (4, Insightful)

anomnomnomymous (1321267) | more than 3 years ago | (#36294296)

Wow, I'm really liking this move, and I think it makes sense. Still, quite admirable that they don't leave the DRM on there for longer.
The first few weeks is when a game is most at risk of being pirated. Nonetheless, this game is already on several torrent sites, so it's not as if the DRM worked in the first place.

Anyhows, this is sortof obligatory: Penny Arcade's view on The Witcher [penny-arcade.com] :-D

Re:Very nice. (2)

MemoryDragon (544441) | more than 3 years ago | (#36294394)

Actually Penny Arcades view is not entirely correct. First the fight is not the first one, it is just the first one if you play that submission before another one which comes earlier int he intro story.
Secondly, the game has in game help but in the middle of a fight it is hard to read the hings, but luckily they are also stored in the journal and there is also a manual which explains a lot.
There is only one thing which the game definitely does not do, it does not do handholding and you cannot master the fights with simple button smashing.
And with normal and hard they really mean normal and hard btw. not like normal is advanced easy like so many others do.

Btw. I died on the mission Penny Arcade talks about also 12 times but only because it was the first submission I played. Everything became more sense when I did the entire prolog in a linear fashion. And I am not really such a good gamer, how anyone can die 47 times on that mission is beyound me.

Re:Very nice. (2)

Gadget_Guy (627405) | more than 3 years ago | (#36294542)

Nonetheless, this game is already on several torrent sites, so it's not as if the DRM worked in the first place.

As others have mentioned here, this game was always available without DRM if you bought it from GOG.com [gog.com] . Presumable it was this version that got pirated. Even if it wasn't that version, I doubt that they paid top dollar for the best DRM solution if they knew that they would abandon it so soon.

I just noticed something annoying. When you go to the page that I referenced above from an Australian IP address, you end up paying over US$75 for the game. Bloody region crap! I wont blame GOG for this too much, as I am sure that it is just part of their deal that they can't undercut the official distributors in other regions of the world. At least they say:

Since the AU price is almost $26 more than the price in USD, weâ(TM)re giving you a $26 USD credit to spend on GOG.com.

Which is fine for me, but if you are not interested in old games then it would be annoying. Finally, Aussies get a cut down version of the game due to our stupid ratings system because our government will not trust us. Oh well, at least GOG trusts us to enter our details correctly on the account settings page...

Re:Very nice. (4, Informative)

tdelaney (458893) | more than 3 years ago | (#36294930)

GOG no longer relies on IP geolocation services to determine what country you're in, although they use it as an initial determinant. But if you happen to have one of the very very many IP addresses that are "incorrectly" identified as Australian, you can go into your profile and tell them what country you're "really" in.

Strangely enough, GOG decided to stop relying on geolocation services shortly after they were forced to give higher prices to Australians on The Witcher 2 by the local publisher.

Re:Very nice. (1)

Luckyo (1726890) | more than 3 years ago | (#36295704)

1. Version that was pirated first was DVD version.
2. Game included two layers of protection:
a. You must activate the game online
b. Securom protection

There was a crack for both in the DVD version that was online the day after release. Funnily many of people who bought DVD version like myself, ended up getting the crack to strip securom because it caused so many problems.

P.S. As far as I know, online activation part of DRM is still in the game, even after this patch.

Now I dont need to download a copy from the bay! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36294326)

I bought the game, and had loads of trouble installing it due to my antivirus viewed the DRM as a trojan.
I waited some days untill clamAV updated its definitions.

Starting my game now is shakey at best if I dont dissable AV. Also, if the network is slow, the loader just halts.

I was very close to searching for a cracked version, since they usually works better.
Will be nice to not having to do that now.

Re:Now I dont need to download a copy from the bay (1)

MemoryDragon (544441) | more than 3 years ago | (#36294406)

You also could have bought the DRM free GOG version :-)

Heavily overpriced at GOG (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36294486)

In Poland (witcher's producer country) u can buy this game for 80z (polish zloty). In the same time it costs 49.99$ at GOG.

49.99$ x 2.75 makes 137,4z vs 80z from retail.
Funny.

Re:Heavily overpriced at GOG (1)

MemoryDragon (544441) | more than 3 years ago | (#36294870)

ah ok, here in Austria it was the same retail and on gog, but on gog I got a rebate for additional gog games for the difference of the Dollar-Euro price.

Re:Heavily overpriced at GOG (1)

Luckyo (1726890) | more than 3 years ago | (#36295726)

GoG was still massively overpriced. Play.com offered DVD version for about 10€ cheaper including delivery anywhere in EU (and of course you got all the boxed game goodies with it).

News little old (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36294452)

Patch and info coming from the last friday.
Anonymous C.

Related News: The Witcher 1 is still not patchable (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36294462)

As the authentication servers for The Witcher (the first part) are still down (for at least three weeks now), people who want to reinstall the first game are still out of luck, because they can't patch it. Yes, CD Project is really very customer friendly: Introducing authentication to patching and then closing down the servers.

Re:Related News: The Witcher 1 is still not patcha (1)

Tuidjy (321055) | more than 3 years ago | (#36294830)

At the time of your posting, CD Project had already released a patch that upgrades the retail version of the original Witcher to the Enhanced Edition without checking registration.

But the only way that I know this is because I read a bit of Polish. As far as I know, there is no announcement in English and a bunch of frustrated people are complaining about being unable to play the original Witcher.

Re:Related News: The Witcher 1 is still not patcha (3, Informative)

Tuidjy (321055) | more than 3 years ago | (#36294872)

Just in case someone wants to reinstall the original Witcher: The Patch 1.4 on this page http://www.en.thewitcher.com/the-witcher/1/ [thewitcher.com] will remove the DRM that comes on the retail CD. You will need to download the appropriate language patch in the same directory. And then you can apply patch 1.5 for extra content.

CD Project are trying. They fucked up big time with the registration servers, but I do not think it was trough malice. Never attribute to malice that which, yada, yada...

Not from the goodness of their heart (2)

flimflammer (956759) | more than 3 years ago | (#36294472)

The DRM was causing severe issues with the game. The only logical move they could make aside from telling their users tough luck was to remove the DRM.

It's certainly a nice story but it's not for the right reasons. They're just aiming for some good press by putting a positive spin on the fact that their DRM was defective to the point of breaking the game for its users.

Re:Not from the goodness of their heart (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36294550)

Actually, they always intended to remove the DRM ASAP. I have been a supporter of CD Projekt since they took similar action with The Witcher 1 (removing the godawful TAGES crap).
Originally it was their intent to have no DRM on the Witcher 2. When I found out they did a U-turn on that (a month or two ago) I contacted their customer support to express my disappointment. I got a very nice e-mail back telling me exactly why they included DRM on some versions of the game (publishing requirements, stopping before-release leaks etc.), where I could get a non-DRM version if I preferred (GoG.com) and that they intended to get rid of it as soon as they were allowed to. They delivered on this promise, which is why I am likely to buy their games again.

Re:Not from the goodness of their heart (1)

Luckyo (1726890) | more than 3 years ago | (#36295770)

"Godawful TAGES crap" stayed in the game up to version 1.4, at which point they got tired of paying for tech support having to keep answering people about problems with it.

Witcher 2 DRM was pure marketing. GoG got "exclusive DRM free" game which is sold for more then many other retailers, and everyone else got screwed by broken securom, which apparently caused vast majority of technical issues with the game. Just like original.

This time, folks at CD Project decided they didn't want to pay too much for tech support until 1.4, and axed securom in 1.1 (long after securom was cracked anyway). It's a purely financial decision, and is pretty unlikely to have anything to do with gamers (other then positive publicity). Fact remains that if you wanted to run DVD version of witcher2 properly before 1.1, you had to crack securom.

Re:Not from the goodness of their heart (1)

mcvos (645701) | more than 3 years ago | (#36294730)

They're still nicer than Ubisoft or Sony, who would have told their users to suck it.

Re:Not from the goodness of their heart (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36295040)

Err, its exactly for the right reasons. CDProjekt, the developer of the game, also runs gog.com. Heard of it? Its a DRM free game store.

CDProjekt has ALWAYS been against DRM. The copies they sell from gog.com don't have, and have never had, DRM.

Witcher 1 (1)

zyzko (6739) | more than 3 years ago | (#36294508)

About time - maybe they learned something from customer feedback about the first game which is a pile of drm-facepalms. The DVD version has protection that won't work on 64bit Windows7 machines properly. It also has server-authentication. And good luck with their customer support, I think they try their best but English is not in my experience the language you will get serviced the best.

Re:Witcher 1 (1)

paziek (1329929) | more than 3 years ago | (#36294844)

I have bought Witcher 1 a few days ago, its Platinium edition or whatnot, patched to latest 1.5 and DRM free. No need for any activation or whatever, but I hear it was bad before they removed DRM. Back in the days I doubt they expected it would get much attention outside of Poland, so they might have lacked ENG support - it was pretty big surprise for everyone, that this game got so popular. Witcher was well known even before its got its game here - heck, my dad knows Witcher, so their target market was local one most likely. They might have diverted a bit from that with Witcher 2, so maybe try again if you like - I expected improvements in areas that you mentioned and were lacking.

Re:Witcher 1 (1)

zyzko (6739) | more than 3 years ago | (#36295048)

Well, I have the DVD which doesn't install on Windows7 64bit - it is so bad that it once messed totally up my DVD drive and I had to dig through forums to find uninstall for the DRM driver. So not very funny because there is chicken-egg problem here. But if I get adventurous I'll try if I can manage to get the 1.5 patch installed without ruining my access to DVD's.

Right now the GOG version of 2 does it for me (it was expensive compared to retail but DRM-free from day 1 so I bought it despite my lack of confidence to CD Projekt) and hey, it has uncensored rendered boobies, lot's of them and they have done a pretty good job on that part ;)

Been DRM-free from day one (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 3 years ago | (#36294522)

Been DRM-free from day one on gog.com. So no big surprise there, also the idea that you need DRM to protect it before release is not meaningful. Encrypt the whole thing, release a universal one-key-to-decrypt-them-all on release day.

Huh. (1)

AlphaBlade (629798) | more than 3 years ago | (#36294578)

Kinda feel like buying it now, just to encourage the trend.

Re:Huh. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36294732)

and because it's also an awesome game

Re:Huh. (1)

slackbheep (1420367) | more than 3 years ago | (#36294856)

It helps that the game itself is fantastic as well. Fun, beautiful, and wonderfully detailed. Unfortunately it sort of falls flat at the end as they seemed to want to leave themselves lots of room for DLC and/or expansions.

The Witcher 2, after 1 - again leaving a legacy. (1)

diorcc (644903) | more than 3 years ago | (#36294832)

For such a small game studio (how they started) in Poland - they really managed to impress me with The Witcher 1 (enhanced edition). The quality of the content, storyline and also game play were worthy of a great book. But one you can swing a sword in, flirt with the ladies and form what felt like well emulated human relationships through your character's choices. This move shows that they're getting it right. If anything piracy may increase their reputation and "fanbois" like me -- and I rarely make a stand about a game. I also enjoyed Assassin's Creed 2 etc - but the DRM annoyed the **** out of me. A paying customer. After owning a few ubi titles - I still heavily dislike the firm. Although I am hooked on AC and will be buying the new one as well. I haven't had a chance to touch any time-intensive games due to finishing uni - but this one is on my list. And with one fell swoop CDPROJEKT won even more of my respect.

I was on the fence (1)

chuckymonkey (1059244) | more than 3 years ago | (#36295172)

I read about this a couple of days ago. I wasn't sure if I was going to buy the game or not, with a wife, kids, and career I have to be careful where my gaming dollars go. As soon as I read this I went out and bought the game, if for no other reason than to encourage more acts like this and I couldn't be more pleased. It's a fun and beautiful game.

Thumbs up (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36295260)

I like thier attitude, and more importantly, the game is amazing

Where is the publisher in all of this? (1)

HaZardman27 (1521119) | more than 3 years ago | (#36295408)

If I'm not mistaken, Atari has been publishing CDProjekt Red's games; I'd like to hear their opinions on this whole ordeal. It's not that surprising to see a developer against DRM, it'd be interesting to hear the same from a major publisher.

No rootkits then? (1)

lucifron (964735) | more than 3 years ago | (#36295426)

After having my pc ruined by rootkits installed along with the game, DRM-"removal", i.e. patching out cd-checks or whatever just doesn't cut it for me.

Fuck you publishers, I'm not touching any of your DRM laden crap ever again..

Re:No rootkits then? (1)

lucifron (964735) | more than 3 years ago | (#36295476)

By "the game", I'm not referring to the witcher, I guess it could be read that way.

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